December 2020 Current Events: US News

Updated January 1, 2021 | Infoplease Staff

Science and Technology News | World News | Disaster News

The U.S. is a very busy place, and it's hard to stay on top of everything. Infoplease has got you covered. Here are the U.S. news events you need to know so far for December 2020:

  1. Coronavirus Updates
  2. Judge Reimplements DACA
  3. Drug Laws Passed
  4. Coronavirus Updates (2)
  5. Election Battle Continues
  6. Coronavirus Updates (3)
  7. William Barr Resigns
  8. Electoral College Affirms Win
  9. Coronavirus Updates (4)
  10. President Trump Pardons 15
  11. Intentional Explosion in Nashville
  12. Coronavirus Updates (5)
  13. Shooting at Illinois Bowling Alley
  14. House Faces Tough Voting Week

Coronavirus Updates

US Surge

On December 1, a new study revealed that coronavirus may have been in the US as early as December last year. Researchers screened blood donations from last December and found that 84 samples across 9 states had the antibodies for coronavirus. Many wonder if they had the disease before it was officially discovered, but there is no way to know as the coronavirus tests didn’t exist at the time. On December 2, the White House coronavirus task force urged public health officials to take control as cases reached an all time high due to a Thanksgiving surge. Hospitalizations and deaths are also increasing at an alarming rate. On December 2, Colorado reported that cases keep rising, as Governor Jared Polis announced that he’s tested positive for the disease. About 1 in every 41 residents in Colorado are testing positive at this rate. On December 3, Governor Newsom announced a regional stay-at-home order in California. The state has over 1.2 million cases, and hospitals are seeing their highest numbers yet. Cases are also raging through the overcrowded prisons in California. Prisons alone have over 22.000 cases and 90 deaths. On December 5, the CDC told states how many vaccinations they will receive in Operation Warp Speed, and many know it won’t be enough for the first round. The CDC is recommending that health care workers and care home workers be the first to get the vaccine, which round out to about 24 million people. However, since each vaccine needs two doses, there is only enough to vaccinate 20 million people. This news comes after the US totaled 10,000 deaths in the last four days. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File

Return to Top of Page

Judge Reimplements DACA

DACA Reinstated

On December 4, a federal judge ordered the Trump Administration reinstate DACA. The act protects undocumented children from being deported. The administration has until Monday to reinstate the act. An estimated 700,000 “dreamers” as they’re called, will be protected by this act. (BBC)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Return to Top of Page

Drug Laws Passed

Cannabis Bill

On December 4, President Trump signed an anti-doping bill into law that allows the US to prosecute anyone caught doping at international events. The Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act targets coaches, officials, and agents, rather than the athletes. On that same day, the US House of Representatives passed a federal cannabis law, decriminalizing cannabis on a federal level. To become a law, the bill must pass the Republican-run Senate, which many don’t think it will. (BBC)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File

Return to Top of Page

Coronavirus Updates (2)

US Coronavirus

On December 7, New York City welcomed elementary school students back to class after the biggest district in the country shut down two weeks earlier. While younger students are allowed back, the older students will have to continue remote learning. On December 11, the FDA issued authorization for the Pfizer vaccine to be used. Millions of doses are expected to be shipped to the US in the next few days. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File

Return to Top of Page

Election Battle Continues

Supreme Court

On December 9, the Supreme Court rejected a bid to overturn the election result in Pennsylvania. President Trump continues to seek recounts, but so far, no results have been overturned. On December 11, in another blow to President Trump, the Supreme Court rejected Texas’ bid to block thousands of ballots. The electoral college is expected to convene on Monday to confirm Joe Biden’s win. (BBC)

Photo Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Return to Top of Page

Coronavirus Updates (3)

Pence Vaccination

On December 14, the US officially topped 300,000 deaths due to COVID-19. On December 14, President Trump announced he was reversing the decision to have White House officials receive early doses of the coronavirus vaccine. After news broke, there was outrage on social media, but President Trump has said this is not the reason for his reversal. The first three million doses will be distributed among health care workers first. The first dose was given to an ICU nurse on December 14. On December 15, the Supreme Court backed religious groups in Colorado and New Jersey who argued COVID restrictions are against religious freedoms. The debate of personal freedoms continues to be discussed by the Supreme Court. On December 19, it was announced that president-elect Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, will receive their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Monday. On December 17, the FDA approved the Moderna Vaccine for emergency use. This came at a good time, as the army general in charge of distributing the Pfizer vaccine announced that there were fewer doses than planned. (BBC/CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Return to Top of Page

William Barr Resigns

William Barr

On December 14, Attorney General William Barr announced his resignation from President Trump’s team. A loyalist, Barr has recently butted heads with President Trump. It is believed that President Trump has been planning to fire Barr for some time, yet the president tweeted that the two parted amicably. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File

Return to Top of Page

Electoral College Affirms Win

Electoral College

On December 14, the electoral college officially affirmed Joe Biden’s win after gathering to submit their ballots. Despite this ruling, many Republicans are still claiming fraud, and the election battle appears to be far from over. On December 16, Senator Mitch McConnell congratulated Joe Biden and asked that no Congress members stage any stunts regarding these results. McConnell’s actions are a blow to Trump’s argument of fraud. On December 19, a meeting at the White House turned into a screaming match after attendees suggested President Trump enact martial law to overturn the election. Michael Flynn was the most outspoken regarding this tactic, but others argued that President Trump should do an executive order that allows the government to inspect voting machines. That same day, Twitter updated its election misinformation warning labels to say that Joe Biden won the election. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Return to Top of Page

Coronavirus Updates (4)

California Coronavirus

On December 21, Johns Hopkins University reported that the US officially surpassed 18 million coronavirus cases and 319,000 deaths. On December 22, President Trump released a surprise video discussing the $900 billion stimulus package that was passed a few days before, after being painstakingly negotiated in Congress. Though President Trump didn’t explicitly say he will veto the bill, many worry that is the direction it is going. The stimulus offers $600 to individuals who make less than $75,000 and couples who make less than $150,000, as well as $600 for each dependent. President Trump was more perturbed by the foreign aid portion of the relief bill, which is similar to bills he’s already signed. On December 23, actor Kirk Cameron came under fire for organizing a few maskless protests in California, where people stood shoulder to shoulder and sang Christmas carols. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File

Return to Top of Page

President Trump Pardons 15

Trump Pardons

On December 22, President Trump pardoned 15 people in what many expect to be a strew of pardons before he leaves office. Among those pardoned were two figures convicted of lying to the FBI during the inquiry into the President’s 2016 campaign. Other pardoned were security guards involved in the 2007 massacre in Iraq and some ex-congressmen. (BBC)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Return to Top of Page

Intentional Explosion in Nashville

Nashville Explosion

On December 25, police recovered the remains of at least one person after an explosion in Nashville. The explosion also injured three other people, as well as set many cars and buildings on fire. At the time, police had very little information, but as of December 26, they believe the body is that of a suicide bomber. Police are now searching the suspected bomber’s home to find more information. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Return to Top of Page

Coronavirus Updates (5)

Colorado Coronavirus

On December 28, an appeals court blocked New York Governor Cuomo’s restrictions on religious gatherings. The ruling stated that the restrictions were not stemming the spread of coronavirus, thus gatherings should be allowed. On December 29, the US reported its first case of the new strain of COVID in Colorado. Governor Polis stated that the man infected had no travel history and has been isolated. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Return to Top of Page

Shooting at Illinois Bowling Alley

Bowling Alley Shooting

On December 27, three people were killed and another three injured after a gunman entered an Illinois bowling alley. Later, police charged an active Special Forces soldier with the murders. Duke Webb, the 37-year-old suspect, was on leave according to the Army. A motive has not yet been released. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Return to Top of Page

House Faces Tough Voting Week

Congress Votes

On December 28, the House voted to override President Trump’s previous veto of the defense bill. The National Defense Authorization Act will now head to the Senate to complete the process of bypassing a veto. President Trump had vetoed the bill because he didn’t like Section 230, which protects internet companies from being liable for what’s posted on their sites by third parties. On that same day, the House also voted to increase stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000, a move President Trump was adamant about. Senator Bernie Sanders has said he’ll delay the voting on the defense bill if the Senate does not also address the stimulus increase. On December 29, Senator Mitch McConnell blocked the vote to raise the stimulus to $2,000. Many other senators are upset at the lack of a simple vote, and still fighting to have a vote be held. On January 1, the Senate voted to override President Trump’s veto of the defense bill. The vote was 81-13, much more than the two thirds necessary. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File

Return to Top of Page

Sources +